For eight years, Rich Baird worked quietly behind the scenes to advance the agenda of Governor Rick Snyder.
And up until now, he has avoided media interviews on what he did and why he did it.
Mr. Baird is finally talking about Flint, Right To Work and working with his good friend Rick Snyder.
“I think I would have gone insane without humor,” admits Rich Baird
Rich Baird not only has a good sense of humor, he had the closest relationship of anybody in town with his long-time friend Gov. Snyder.
And he took all the tough assignments the governor needed resolved while remaining underneath the radar.
He concedes he was a fixer but not a deputy governor.
“Nobody elected me to anything,” insists Baird. “That’s why I don’t like deputy governor.”
By far he concedes the Flint water crisis was the toughest assignment made tougher, he says, by all the misinformation he was getting from state bureaucrats, leaving him with one wish.
“The best thing that we should have done was go to some independent entity and say, advise us on what the hell is happening here.”
On Right To Work, Mr. Baird asked labor to make some dramatic changes, such as eliminating civil service to avoid Right To Work.
He told that to then UAW president Bob King.
“You’re the guy who brought a bazooka to a knife fight,” Baird said to King. “And now you’re going to have to cut off an arm and a leg, not just a finger.”
He says Labor refused, and the governor signed Right To Work.
Mr. Baird watched the media coverage of the governor and quickly decided he would not pay attention to what they wrote.
“It was very difficult to find both intelligent and balanced journalists,” claims Baird. “It’s like they wrote the story before they covered it. Hence it was not worth my time.”
He planned to work one year with Rick Snyder and stayed eight years, all behind the scenes.
Now the two are now in private business together in Ann Arbor.